Clyno was founded by cousins A. P. Smith and F. W. A Smith in 1909, at Thrapston, Northamptonshire. They exhibited their first machines, an AJS-powered 3HP single and a 744cc V-twin (also by AJS), at the 1909 Stanley Show, both with belt drive and single fixed gear. On 15th October 1910 the business was transferred from Thrapston to the Steven’s old works Wolverhampton, and it was from there that the first enclosed primary-drive chaincase two-speed machines emerged soon afterwards.
By 1911 they were producing a chain-driven combination which did very well in motorcycle hillclimb trials thanks to its robust sidecar chassis and four-lug attachment method. So successful was this model that in 1912, orders exceeded factory capacity. Unit-construction 250cc two stroke was released in 1913 and was well received, probably in part because it came complete with lights, horn and number-plates – items which cost extra on most of the competition’s machines.
1914 brought war, and the company’s future looked bleak. However, due to the success of the aforementioned sidecar, a contract from the War Office to build in conjunction with Vickers machines (which became known as Vickers-Clyno), by 1915 the situation was much improved.
After WWI the company produced a 269cc two strokes and 996cc V-twins. Motorcycle production ceased in 1924 in favour of cars.
In its heyday, Clyno was the third largest car manufacturer in the UK after Austin and Morris.
Its price cutting policy led to financial problems and the company went into liquidation on 11th February 1929.
During its lifetime it had sold over 15,000 motorcycles and 40,000 motor vehicles.
The motorcycle on offer today is a genuine V-twin Clyno, just restored as a racing version. This rare bike is presented in white and blue, with a Brooks seat. A unique opportunity to buy one of the rarest English motorcycles built.
For further information or to arrange a viewing, please contact our sales department.